NEW YORK: Tesla CEO Elon Musk justified his decision to delete his SpaceX and Tesla Facebook pages amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal, claiming that the social media giant gives him the "willies".
"It's not a political statement and I didn't do this because someone dared me to do it. Just don't like Facebook. Gives me the willies. Sorry," Musk wrote on Twitter.
The Tesla CEO has slammed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier on their views on the dangers of artificial intelligence, describing it as a potentially existential threat to the human race.
Brian Acton, the co-founder of popular messaging service, WhatsApp, whose product was bought by Facebook in 2014 for a whopping USD 16 billion, took to the microblogging platform and said - "It is time. #deletefacebook", after concerns were flagged on data privacy in the wake of revelations about Cambridge Analytica's alleged misuse of user data.
Musk deleted the SpaceX and Tesla's Facebook page on March 23.
Both the SpaceX and Tesla Facebook pages had over 2.6 million likes and followers and super high engagement rates, prior to their deletion.
Musk, who occasionally posts photos and videos on Instagram, admitted that Facebook's influence was creeping into the photo-sharing site.
It’s not a political statement and I didn’t do this because someone dared me to do it. Just don’t like Facebook. Gives me the willies. Sorry.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 24 March 2018
Cambridge Analytica, a London-based analytics firm is accused of harvesting personal data of Facebook users to influence elections in several countries including the US presidential elections. It has been accused of breaching private information of more than 50 million Facebook users.
The company, founded by Stephen K. Bannon and Robert Mercer, a wealthy Republican donor who has put at least USD 15 million into it, offered tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behaviour.
The so-called psychographic modeling techniques, which were built in part with the data harvested from Facebook, underpinned the company's work for then Republican nominee and US President Donald Trump's campaign in 2016.
On Wednesday, the Indian Ministry of Information Technology had sent out a word of caution to Zuckerberg regarding any incident of data theft of an Indian citizen if found.
Meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica on Tuesday suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix over the same issue.